Eagles Need to Upgrade Their Secondary During Draft
New face, new places.
That has been the theme in Philadelphia's secondary so far this offseason.
Gone are former starters Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher at corner and Nate Allen at safety. In are Byron Maxwell, Walter Thurmond and E.J. Biggers
Now, it's time for more. At least that's the expectation during the draft because while the Eagles may not take a safety or corner with their first-round pick in this year's draft, they do have eight selections overall and are looking to add more, hope to find some more competition for their defensive backfield.
The Eagles have looked to the draft the past few years, but have not found a whole lot of help, making the secondary one of the most significant needs on the roster, meaning the Eagles are hoping to buck that trend in this years draft - They have to do so.
(Listen to Draft expert Scott Wright of Draftcountdown.com discuss the draft)
Philadelphia signed tall corners like Williams and Fletcher, both signed as free agents in 2013. The previous regime gave Chip Kelly a smaller guy like Brandon Boykin, a fourth-round choice out of Georgia a year later they drafted Jaylen Watkins in the fourth round out of Florida and safety Earl Wolff in the fifth round.
But for all the secondary players Philadelphia has signed or drafted in the past few years, and the money they spent on Williams and Fletcher, Boykin remains the only defensive back Philadelphia acquired with a pick in draft that has contributed.
Now, we'll see whether Boykin is around by the end of the weekend. NFL teams reportedly believe Boykin can be acquired "for the right price," according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
The cupboard isn't bare in Philadelphia's defensive backfield as the team spent big money on free agent Byron Maxwell this year and safety Malcolm Jenkins last year - now they must find the players who will pair up with them.
However, even losing Williams and Fletcher and replacing them with Maxwell, the secondary needs help. Earl Wolff currently projects as the team's starting safety, and free-agent addition Walter Thurmond projects as the corner opposite Maxwell.
So expect Philadelphia to be bulk up in the secondary during this draft in an effort to restock and add depth to that position.